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Actors from the London Stage Make Shakespeare More Meaningful for John Carroll University Students

College students usually study Shakespeare if they're English or Theater majors. 

But this week at John Carroll University students from those areas along with other departments are reciting the words of the great "Bard."

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Actor Ffion Jolly works with John Carroll University students this week [photo: Sally Al-Qaraghuli]

It's part of a week-long residency featuring travelling theater troupe Actors from the London Stage (AFTLS.)

The company began in 1975 with English actor Sir Patrick Stewart as one of the co-founders.

Current member Ffion Jolly says the mission of AFTLS is educational.

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Ffion Jolly as "Cordelia" in Actors from the London Stage production of "King Lear" [photo: Jason Comerford]

"They came up with the idea that Shakespeare would come alive if you speak it and see it being performed rather than just studying it through the books," Jolly said.

During the school year five Shakespearean-trained actors tour United States campuses and make the the work more accessible for students of any major.

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Actor Ffion Jolly works with John Carroll University students this week [photo: Sally Al-Qaraghuli]

The company last worked with JCU students in 2016.  Associate professor of English Jean Feerick appreciates the actors ability to perform Shakespeare's classics.

"I do some kooky enactments in front of my students, but it's great to have a professional actor come in. It brings the text alive in ways that I might not be talented at doing," Feerick said.

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Actor Ffion Jolly works with John Carroll University students this week with John Carroll University's Jean Feerick at far right [photo: Sally Al-Qaraghuli]

While students in John Carroll's English and Theater departments are taking advantage of the residency so are students in other departments such as accounting.

"Most of the requirements for [accounting] is how to present yourself in front of an audience, which is a life skill for anyone," Jolly said.

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Ffion Jolly as "Cordelia" in Actors from the London Stage production of "King Lear" [photo: Matt Cashore]

The residency concludes this weekend as the five visiting actors perform Shakespeare's tragedy, "King Lear," on the JCU campus.

"It's always been only five actors putting together a show that will fit into a suitcase that we can travel around the U.S.  That brings a load of constraints and constrictions but also a load of freedom.  It requires you to be more creative," Jolly said.

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Actors from the London Stage present William Shakespeare's "King Lear" in the Kulas Auditorium at John Carroll University Friday and Saturday.

View this post on Instagram @johncarrollu hosts #actorsfromthelondonstage For more visit applause.ideastream.org A post shared by ideastream (@ideastreamneo) on Feb 15, 2019 at 10:36am PST

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